Archive for April, 2010

Happy Pets Adds Washers & Dryers

Happy Pets developer Crowdstar has introduced a new line of washers and dryers into their pet-raising title. Although Happy Pets updates on a regular basis, Crowdstar seems to be more fond of adding new animals to the game, rather than new decorations. In fact, these seem to be the first new furniture additions to the game in over a month!

Three washers and dryers are available: White, Steel, and Pink. All six are for sale for 22 FB$ ($2.20).

It’s interesting to see Crowdstar’s emphasis on new pets rather than new furniture. The other two major pet games, Pet Society and Petville, both take the opposite approach.

Island Paradise Celebrates Archeology Week

Island Paradise developer Meteor Games added a small collection of archeology-inspired decoration items and avatar clothing, recently. Players can now purchase terra-cotta warriors and chicken idols for their islands. But the true highlight of this expansion is the new outfit.

Players can now dress their avatar like a certain famous treasure-hunting archeologist, whose name rhymes with “Mindy-Anna Phones.” There is even an iconic fedora up for grabs.

Are you buying any of this new gear for your Island Paradise avatar? Let us know in the comments!

Up & Coming: Ninja Warz

By: Cody Musser

The first thing anyone will most likely notice playing Ninja Warz, from Broken Bulb Studios, is how charming this game is. The characters are cute and the zany weapons will keep most people laughing while they level up for at least a bit, but is there enough else going on to make the game worthwhile?

Ninja Warz is a classic combat-style game in which players create their character from one of three clans of ninja and level their fighter to take on all comers. The clan differences add some variety, but your ninja is still going to look like one out of only six-or-so total character designs. This becomes pretty obvious when you advance past having a single ninja and purchase additional fighters for your clan. You can fight with a whole group of ninja, but they all simply add to one total health bar to make things a bit easier to follow.

To progress in Ninja Warz you’ll spend Karma in the dojo making your fighters stronger and gold in the weapon and relic shops nabbing better gear. This system is just like that present in many similar games, with the option available to purchase (with real people money, of course) extra Karma should you choose to. If not, you’ll receive more from leveling up (not your individual fighters, but your overall profile), obtaining achievements (of which there are a ton) or occasionally visiting the Daimyo, a ninja god who will bestow upon you a bonus of either gold or Karma.

Outside of that, the game offers a Hospital to quickly heal your characters to save time at the cost of gold, a Fighting Blimp where you’ll have all of your regular battles, and a Tournament in which rare weapons can be obtained by winning a few fights in a row. Tournaments can either be categorized “same level” or “open,” but this was confusing, as fighters of multiple levels seemed present regardless of the choice.

The majority of your time in Ninja Warz will come from fighting your many enemies and allies. You can fight your Facebook friends who play Ninja Warz at any time, or fight enemies of a similar level. The option to fight weaker and stronger foes, as well as the always present NPC clans was a huge boon for enjoying our time spent in Ninja Warz. It allows you to progress at your pace, and make the experience as easy or difficult as you want.

Facebook friends don’t only appear as your allies in the fighting arena, but are always present on a bottom scrollbar where you’re given the opportunity to assist them for gold and experience bonuses. This assistance comes in the form of mini-games, but the variety is limited and you’ll quickly wear out their novelty. Begrudgingly you’ll keep doing them however, as they’re the best bet for the quick sums of mass experience and loot you’ll be craving. Outside of that, you can send your friends items and relics you unlock as gifts, hoping they do the same for you.

That’s really it for Nina Warz, and if you can’t find enjoyment in performing some of these tasks over and over, it might be a hard game to stick with for long. If something is going to help you make that choice, it will undoubtedly be the clever and charming additions made throughout the game here and there. The weapons, for one, are awesome. It starts with a stick, sure, but then quickly turns into traditional ninja gear, then to non-traditional ninja gear that looks more dangerous than anything you’ve ever seen, and finally it finishes comfortably with outlandish items like fried shrimp, wrenches, drills and more.

The game also has some charming boss encounters that will creep up walking around your floating island from time to time, but we wish they happenened more often. Ninja Warz will be fun for most new players, who will laugh at the gags. Hopefully Broken Bulb is dreaming up ways to add more variation and depth to the experience, to keep Ninja Wars compelling long term. The game’s climbing the charts though, with over 1,400,000 monthly users, so maybe a ninja beating a ninja with fried shrimp is enough for anyone.

Play Ninja Warz now!

My Town April 26 Update Details

As most My Town players probably have figured out, the town-building title updates twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. And although this isn’t always the case, usually these item updates add an eclectic and unthemed collection of new buildings and decorations. Today’s April 26 item update was no exception.

Five new item were added in total: Dog House, Mexican Restaurant, Planetarium, Cathedral, and a Hair Salon. As is typical of developer Broken Bulb, the buildings are full of nifty details. The cathedral has a fully stained glass roof, and the mexican restaurant is call “Yo Polirito’s.” The dog house looks very similar to Snoopy’s iconic red dog house… all it is missing is a dog laying on the roof.

Happy Island’s Birthday Wishes

SGC stumbled across an innovative birthday-related Happy Island feature, earlier today. It might be something that has been around for a while, but we never noticed until now.

If you log into Happy Island on a Happy Island neighbor’s birthday, you will be given the opportunity to send them a special in-game birthday gift. Players can choose from a Happy Hibiscus, Birthday ‘Zpam,’ or a Tiki Cake. Giving them this gift generates a post on the person’s Facebook wall. They can then click on this gift to redeem their reward.

For the curious, there is no wizardry at work, here. Many Facebook users enter their birthdate into their Facebook profile, and Happy Island has access to that data.

Social City Revamps Newspaper & Adds LE Items

Social City developer Playdom has kicked their city simulator into high gear lately, releasing item updates and other game improvements at a much faster rate. Multiple updates were even added over the weekend. Most notably, the in-game newspaper that greets players when they first log on was given a facelift.

The new Social City Gazette now shows players their latest neighbor news, the latest game updates, and displays the current limited edition items. One nice touch is that the paper is a “Morning Edition” or an “Evening Edition” according to what time of day a player logs on.

Speaking of Limited Edition items, two more were added earlier today: Tudor Estate (70 City Bucks) and Underhill Home 1 (20 City Bucks). Like other Social City limited editions, rather than expiring after s set number of days, these buildings have a set number of copies available.

The Underhill Home 1 is probably Social City’s coolest item yet – it very closely resembles a Hobbit home. The name seems to indicate more Hobbit-looking buildings are on the way… we can’t wait!

Zynga Running Top Fishville Aquarium Contest

Over on the Official Fishville Forums, Fishville Community Manager MerMolly is running a Most Creative Tank contest. The field has been narrowed to ten finalists, so it’s too late to enter, but certainly not too late to ogle the bright and creative designs the finalists came up with.

Up for grabs is more than just bragging rights. First place wins 50 Sand Dollars, second place 30, third place 20, and fourth – tenth each get 10 Sand Dollars. So all the finalists are already guaranteed to win something. They deserve it, too. These tank designs are among the best we’ve seen.

Our personal favorite is #6, bur right now entry #9 is in the lead. Apparently Fishville players are big fans of Birth of Venus.

Which one is your favorite?

Fishville Adds Candy House Buildable

A new buildable decoration was released in Fishville, over the weekend: A Candy House! To complete construction, players will need 10 pieces total.

Right now the only way to get one of the pieces is via the Fishville gifts tab. Players can also buy each piece individually for 1 Sand Dollar. Hopefully everyone out there has generous Fishville friends!

We originally thought that this Candy House was the culmination of the game’s Fanta Sea item pack. But none of those items had a candy theme – they were just fantasy-inspired. So this candy house seems to stand apart from all the existing Fishville items.

Petville Adds Sticky Notes

Petville developer Zynga added sticky notes in various colors to the game’s Home Office furniture store, over the weekend. An item update this small generally wouldn’t warrant an entire post, but Zynga pointed out that these notes could be used to create sticky-note artwork:

Pretty cool, right? Similar projects are often undertaken in real life:

What will you make with your Petville sticky notes? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Aquarium Introduces Trapped Barrel Animal

Many Happy Aquarium players (it doesn’t seem to be unlocked for everyone yet) came across a new type of lost / adoptable animal, this morning. Aquarium owners now have the opportunity to perform an ‘Animal Rescue’ on a mystery animal trapped inside a barrel. With the help of their friends, of course.

After selecting to participate in the animal rescue, players will see a floating barrel at the top of their tank. Clicking on the barrel then brings up a player’s progress bar. To rescue the trapped animal, players will need to gather materials from their friends – a game mechanic first popularized by Farmville, a couple months ago.

Players need: 3 Plyers [sic], 3 Crowbars, 3 Screwdrivers, 3 Hammers, 4 Gloves, and 3 generic helpers – a grand total of 19 items. Players can post a news feed item letting their friends know which item they need. Any neighbor that then clicks on that news feed post will send you one of the required materials. Materials can also be purchased for 15 pearls a piece.

So… what is this mysterious mystery animal, that players have to work so hard to earn? It is… a mini white Beluga Whale:

Pretty neat, right? We do wish players only had to collect two or three types of items instead of six, however. That is quite a bit of news feed spamming players will need to put up with, to get one.